Women’s Space to Speak conference
Women's rights are newly asserted
14 November 2022
The battle for women's rights and for the re-composition of the Irish women's movement took a major step forward at the 12th November Women’s Space to Speak conference, organised by Women’s Space Ireland. There were 200 attendees including a substantial turnout from northern activists and men with a history of supporting women’s rights.
The conference was called in response to an alliance of trans activists, NGOs and politicians who deny biological reality and Women’s sex-based rights.
The struggle so far has involved violent abuse, legal changes, threats of imprisonment and calls for gender critical groups to be denied political representation. For that reason, the conference was held secretly, with each attendee receiving personal invitations. A number of speakers attested to threats and being ostracised if they spoke out publicly.
In physics a method for achieving nuclear fusion, called inertial fusion, involves focusing many laser beams on one point.
The conference was the political equivalent of inertial fusion, with 10 speakers dissecting the many attacks on women. These included Helen Joyce, author of "TRANS: When Ideology Meets Reality", Christina Ellingsen, a Norwegian writer, who faces a possible prison sentence for asserting that men cannot be women, UK-based barrister Anya Palmer who established, through the Maya Forstater case, the right to not be discriminated against for “gender critical” beliefs. Also speaking were Stella O’Malley, Rev Professor Anne Lodge, Iseult White, Colette Colfer and Anne Conway.
The speakers presented a compelling case of multileveled attacks on women. The first area involves rights-based laws that accentuate gender rights and specifically exclude or diminish sex-based rights. This is accompanied by hate speech laws that criminalise opinions that don't line up with gender ideology.
Immediately after these developments we have the loss of women's spaces. Dangerous males claim a place in women's prisons and in rape crisis centres.
"Affirmation" becomes a requirement in medicine, leading to a process involving the application of unregulated drugs and the medical mutilation of young people.
Absolutely dreadful damage was being done in schools. New curricula were being introduced but there were no schemes or lesson plans. Instead, plans were being outsourced to gender ID activist groups, paid by the government to determine what was taught.
Young girls were increasingly becoming victims. High levels of gender dysphoria were intersecting with affirmation to direct them along a path to mutilation.
A statement some time ago calling for the outlawing of gender critical views had outlined the central role of NGOs, including Amnesty Ireland, the ICCL and the National Women's Council, in promoting the new ideology. They had been supported by a number of unions and many of the socialist groups.
It was clearly understood that a new movement was needed and that a central element would be advancing the duty of care that we all have to children and to vulnerable women.
The next step is evident. The new movement must publicly organise and challenge the range of ongoing attacks.
For perfectly understandable reasons there was little time for discussion, with the conference packed with attestation of aspects of a global attack on women's rights. There is much still to be done. What is the explanation for the collapse of many bastions of women's rights? The men present, again for perfectly understandable reasons, did not speak. What will be the role of males?
At some stage the role of class will have to be addressed. There is a linkage between the decay of working-class political institutions and a new "progressivism" that pushes magical ideas about our sexual identity. If we examine class, we will be able to unite women and men around the concept of solidarity - an idea light years away from the pallid concept of "allyship" that essentially tells us all to shut up.
For now. it is enough to recognise the Women's Space conference as a major triumph. It could not have been fully secret, despite the security. The atmosphere has changed and public bullying by trans activists has much less sympathy. The battle will now move from hidden committee rooms to the public arena, where the vast majority recognise the reality of biological sex and of the women's rights that accompany this.